Tag Archives: food

9 reasons to eat seasonal food

A few weeks ago, I was reading an article about seasonal food in the UK. The article discussed what seasonal food in the UK was and how many could I name. I’m embarrassed to admit I hardly knew what was in season in the UK and when. Have you wondered how far the food sitting on your plate has actually travelled?

We are spoilt for choice as our supermarkets are open around the clock and, thanks to the advances in technology and globalisation, they are packed high with fruit and vegetables from all around the world: Avocados from Mexico, Bananas from India, Strawberries from Spain.

Eating seasonally focuses on a produce that has been grown, harvested and finally ready for consumption shortly afterwards. It also includes produce that hasn’t had to travel over long distances. For example, across a continent.

So, why should we be eating seasonal food?

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons…

  1. Buying seasonal food will help reduce your carbon footprint as the food hasn’t travelled long distances.
  2. Eating seasonal food means the produce is at it’s best in flavour and health benefits because it’s been harvested at the right time. Our farmers know their stuff!
  3. You know where your food came from. There’s something really special about eating food that has been grown in the UK, or even in the same county!
  4. They require minimal pesticides which can strip the soil from essential nutrients and enter the water supply.
  5. When foods have to be chilled for transport, some produce can lose its nutritional value.
  6. Seasonal food allows a greater variety in your diet and you’ve got something to look forward to.
  7. When you’re buying food from a supermarket that has had to import the food, there will be more steps in the supply chain, which could lead to damaged food. Seasonal food means a much shorter supply chain.
  8. Locally grown food is less likely to come in plastic packaging.
  9. Last, but not least, you’ll be supporting a local business.

What foods are in season and when?

I’m so glad you asked!

After realising I had no idea what was in season in the UK and when, I decided to do some research. This prompted me to create a handy chart showing what is grown and when.

You can use these guides to help you plan your weekly meals.

Just by having this information easily at your fingertips will help you think about where your food has come from the next time you go shopping. If it’s in season, it will help reduce your environmental impact too. Plus, it will be tastier because it will be at it’s best. Sounds like a win/win to me!

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Make Your Own Food Mesh Bags

Over the last year, whenever I go to the supermarket, I make a conscious effort to avoid fruit and veg in plastic wrapping. Apart from wanting to cut down on my overall plastic, this all started with some lemons!

I went into my local supermarket and, as well as making my usual purchases, I wanted a lemon. Yes, that’s correct, A lemon, just one. After searching carefully, wanting to ensure I hadn’t missed the loose lemons, all I could find was a netted bag of four lemons. What on earth would I do with the three other lemons? Why am I being forced to buy more than I needed. I got in a right huff, paid for my shopping and left…without any lemons, I might add.

Looking back on it, it sounds really silly getting annoyed about some lemons. I wanted a single lemon, surely, that’s not a lot to ask for?

Since then, whenever I’ve got to the supermarket and need fruit or veg, I buy them loose and leave them rolling around in my trolley because I haven’t got a little mesh bag to put them in.

Fast forward to now.

I needed some mesh bags for my shopping but reluctant to buy them brand new. I’ve been trying to buy second-hand where I could and I had an idea.

I went to my local charity shop and bought a pair of net curtains for £1.50p – bargain. I got home and out came my sewing machine.

And for my first attempt, these are the pictures. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Will The Coronavirus Make Us Think Differently About Our Food?

The coronavirus or COVID-19 has gripped the world changing all aspects of society; school, work, visiting friends and family, and even just going out for a walk.

When we started learning about the effect this pandemic was having on the citizens of China, there was fear that this virus may spread. Why wouldn’t it? We are a global society. We are always on the go, whether it’s commuting to work, travelling for business or going on holiday, we don’t stay in one place so something like spreading a virus is always a strong possibility. Each country has been handling the crisis in the best way they know how, although, this has differed between countries.

If a county you rely on for exports are having a problem and affects the supply chain, especially in terms of food, this can be disastrous. Not just for economies but for people too. People start to panic.

As well as many other countries, people in the UK started panic buying. Before we knew it, you had more chance of seeing a Unicorn than a pack of toilet roll and shortly after that other products were proving difficult to come by; flour, eggs, bread and pasta. Supermarkets just couldn’t cope with the demand.

Since supermarkets finally limited the number of each item per customer was allowed to purchase, the shelves seem to be stocked although some products are still hard to come by.

A local service I signed up to in January was for milk delivery from a local dairy. I had always thought about having my milk delivered, purely as a way to reduce my plastic and someone knocked on my door offering this service. Having milk delivered twice a week is a real benefit to us (they’re in glass bottles too, no plastic!) and as they are a local business, the service has been unaffected. If anything, I think they’ve become busier since the coronavirus outbreak as they offer fruit, vegetables and bread. Demand for services like this has skyrocketed.

Fifty or so years ago, towns and cities had a local food supply infrastructure; butchers, family dairies, greengrocers but in that time majority of these services have disappeared as products offered by these businesses can be found conveniently (and cheaper) at supermarkets resulting in small family run businesses shutting down.

It's time to support local businesses

When normal services resume, and they will resume, I really hope this will encourage consumers to change their buying habits as well as their mindsets and purchase food from local businesses. I hope #SupportLocal takes on a whole new level and consumers will do this automatically.

Will this encourage us to look at maybe growing our own vegetables in our back gardens, will the waiting list for allotments become longer? Will we start eating food that is in season in the UK rather than shipping in strawberries from Spain all year round?

I hope this will make us look at our food and allow us to do things differently.